Japan Govt Receives 1st Notification on Genome-Edited Food

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry on Friday was notified of a plan to sell a tomato developed with genome-editing techniques, the first such move about genome-edited food in the country.

The notification was filed by Tokyo-based startup Sanatech Seed Co.

The tomato, jointly developed by Sanatech and the University of Tsukuba, contains four to five times more of a kind of amino acid called gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, than ordinary tomatoes do and is expected to help curb rises in blood pressure.

While the government requires a safety review for gene-modified food in which genes from other organisms are introduced, it considers genome-edited food with no genes from other organisms involved to be no different from improved varieties.

For genome-edited food products to be launched, the health ministry consults with the developers in advance and checks how the genes are altered.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press